Keto Spaghetti and Meatballs is a super easy weeknight dinner, but these meatballs make it special. Super tasty - you won't miss the carbs!
In the non-diet world, regular spaghetti and meatballs - maybe with a side of hot garlic bread - is right up there among the best comfort food ever.
When on a ketogenic diet, though... some alterations need to happen to make that it into low carb meal
Swapping regular pasta out for a konjac based pasta is a great way to seriously cut the carbs, but if you look at any Italian meatball recipe, you’ll likely notice it to be quite high in carbs.
This is because most will include bread or bread crumbs as a binder.
Anyway, while this is a whole recipe comprised of 3 main parts - pasta, sauce, and meatballs... Let’s be honest, it’s ALLLL about the keto meatballs!
This low carb meatballs recipe completely does away with any kind of flour or bread-based binders, using a bit of cheese instead. In addition to that, it’s flavoured up with fresh and dried seasonings, loosely based on the idea of Italian sausage.
The meatballs are fantastic on their own, but really elevate a plate of keto spaghetti and meatballs. Truly a great recipe!
In addition to including a really good meatball, this recipe involves very little in the way of prep time, and is definitely suitable for a quick weekday dinner.
As far as carbs go, the finished recipe - all told - comes to less than 9 grams of net carbs per serving.
Perfect not only for any low-carb diet, but for the whole family!
The ingredients in this simple recipe are relatively simpl, but some are pretty specific. Here are some notes on what I do:
I use the “Better Than” brand of shirataki noodles for this recipe, in the spaghetti style (blue package).
These low carb noodles are made from konjac root, and are essentially zero carb - it’s ALL fiber!
While I find this brand to be the perfect keto pasta noodles for our uses - I find that it most closely replicates regular pasta - there are other brands of keto noodles out there, such as Miracle Noodles.
Use what you like! I have more recommendations for noodles that aren’t made of konjac, a bit further down in this post.
This recipe is ALL about my keto meatball recipe, which I find to be the Best Italian Meatballs, keto diet friendly meal or otherwise!
I use ground chicken or ground turkey for this recipe almost every time I make it, as my husband can’t handle pork or beef. Feel free to use ground pork and/or ground beef, if you prefer - the seasonings work well in any of those options!
Beyond the meat, I use the following for flavour:
* Fresh onion - I prefer this to onion powder, as it contributes a bit of moisture along with the flavour.
* Fresh parsley - Usually Italian / flat leaf parsley.
* Finely grated Parmesan cheese - Actual Parmesan, not the shaker bottle stuff.
* Garlic - I use pressed cloves, rather than garlic powder.
* Olive oil - for cooking them.
I use homemade marinara sauce for this, as it gives me the most control over not only the flavour, but the carb count - and nutritional values in general - as well.
I recommend my Keto Marinara Sauce. It’s got great flavour and consistency for this recipe!
If you're looking to buy premade, you can't go wrong with Rao's Marinara Sauce - it's basically the gold standard for those on low carb diets.
How to Make Delicious Keto Spaghetti & Meatballs
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here’s the pictorial walkthrough:
In a large mixing bowl, measure out the meatball ingredients: ground chicken, onion, parsley, Parmesan, garlic, fennel seeds, basil, oregano, pepper, and salt.
Using your (clean!) hands, gently mix everything in the large bowl together until it’s all well incorporated into the mix.
Gently form the meat mixture into meatballs - I like to aim for about 16 meatballs, or 4 per person. You can go larger or smaller, if you prefer.
For tender meatballs, be gentle- you want to just mix, not squeeze and compress it much! (For the more dense, firm, and uniform meatballs, blitz in a food processor until combined.)
Heat oil in a large nonstick pan or large skillet, over medium heat or medium-high heat.
Once hot, brown meatballs, turning every so often to ensure even browning.
Once fully browned, cover pan and turn stovetop down to low heat, allowing the meatballs to cook all the way through.
Once meatballs are fully cooked, transfer cooked meatballs to a plate and cover, while you deal with the noodles:
Drain both konjac spaghetti packages and rinse well under cold wayer - about 2 minutes. This will ensure the best taste! Set aside.
Add drained noodles to the large pan. Cook over medium heat until all visible liquid is dried up.
Once your noodles are quite dry, add spaghetti sauce and meatballs to the pan, gently stirring to coat everything.
Cover and allow to cook at a low simmer for a few minutes, until everything is heated through.
Baking the Meatballs
If you prefer to bake the meatballs, you can do that!
As you form the meatballs, arrange them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake meatballs at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until cooked though.
Alternatively, you can brown them in the pan, then finish in the oven. If you do this, you’ll only need 10 minutes or so in the heated oven, after browning.
While this recipe is fantastic as-is, you can always add extra toppings. A few ideas:
- When grating the Parmesan for the meatballs, shred some extra cheese for the top.
- Shredded mozzarella sauce
- Fresh basil or parsley, finely chopped.
Made 4 servings, but only have 2 people? No problem!
Allow the food to cool to room temperature, before transferring to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days - just reheat in the microwave.
While I love his recipe on konjac noodles, you do have a few more options, depending on your taste and carb limit / actual macros targets.
A few ideas:
Palmini Noodles is a brand of very low carb spaghetti noodles, made from hearts of palm.
I use them for my Pesto Shrimp Palmini, and I think I mentioned in that post that they have a very pleasant flavour, almost like artichokes.
If you use these noodles, I recommend rinsing them very well, then cooking for about 30 minutes. This is longer than the instructions call for, but result in a more pasta-like texture.
Zucchini noodles - or “zoodles” - are spiralized fresh zucchini, and another great option as a base for low carb spaghetti and meatballs.
The best way to use them in this recipe is to cook them in the pan, once the meatballs are fully cooked. Just add them to the meatballs along with the sauce, and allow to cook until the sauce is heated through and the zucchini noodles have JUST started to soften.
If you cook them too long, they’ll turn mushy. (I like to use thick cut noodles to help prevent this!)
PS: If you’re looking for more ideas for zoodles, here are my favourite low carb recipes that use them:
While I avoid spaghetti squash - it’s too high in carbs for me, personally - it’s a great option for those following a low carb - rather than keto - diet.
It tastes great and has a good amount of nutrients, too!
More Keto Italian Recipes
Missing your dinners out at Italian restaurants? Here are a few options to make low carb versions at home!
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Keto Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 2 packs Konjac spaghetti
- 1 lb Ground chicken
- 1 Small onion grated
- ¼ cup Finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- ¼ cup Finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Garlic cloves pressed or finely minced
- ½ teaspoon Fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon Dried basil
- ½ teaspoon Dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 ½ cups Keto Marinara Sauce
- Drain konjac spaghetti packages and rinse well - about 2 minutes. This will ensure the best taste! Set aside.
- In a large bowl, measure out the ground chicken, onion, parsley, Parmesan, garlic, fennel seeds, basil, oregano, pepper, and salt.
- Using your (clean!) hands, gently mix everything together until it’s all well incorporated into the mix.
- For tender meatballs, be gentle- you want to just mix, not squeeze and compress it much! (For the more dense, firm, and uniform meatballs, blitz in a food processor until combined.)
- Gently form the meat mixture into meatballs - I like to aim for about 16 meatballs, or 4 per person. You can go larger or smaller, if you prefer.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick pan.
- Once hot, brown meatballs, turning every so often to ensure even browning.
- Once fully browned, cover pan and turn heat down to low, allowing the meatballs to cook all the way through.
- Once meatballs are fully cooked, transfer to a plate and cover, while you deal with the noodles:
- Add drained noodles to the large pan. Cook over medium heat until all visible liquid is dried up.
- Once your noodles are quite dry, add sauce and meatballs to the pan, gently stirring to coat everything.
- Cover and allow to cook for a few minutes, until everything is heated through.
- Serve hot.